The other day we stopped for petrol. When Sam went in to pay, a group of lads pulled up outside in some pimped-up Corsa (or similar). One of the lads got out to let his mate out the back. Both of them had the notorious white Apple headphone cord hanging out of one ear. So, in a car of 5 friends, at least two (one of whom was driving!), were sat in the car with one ear on their friends and the other on some music.
Whilst this irritated me slightly at the time, I forgot about it. Until yesterday night when I was cycling home, I noticed a woman (on her own) driving along doing the same thing. White headphones it transpires are really easy to see from a distance. When did ‘we’ become incapable of listening to others, or just surviving with a bit of peace and quiet?
For drivers, there are a whole heap of safety implications to listening to headphones whilst driving; I shall avoid doing my previous trick of quoting the highway code, but common sense just says that if you have headphones rammed in your ears, you cannot properly hear things moving around you. But that aside, I feel it is quite sad that friends cannot give each other full attention now. Back when I was at school, if I wanted to listen to music I would either listen to it properly, or share headphones with my friends. Now, friends only warrant half of someone’s attention.
In a broader sense, surely this has to impact a person’s ability to concentrate? I have not done scientific study on this, but again, it is just common sense that if you don’t train the mind to do something, it get’s lazy; if you don’t train your mind to concentrate on one thing at a time, it will merrily drift through the day.
Preaching over, I really hope something this simple doesn’t leave us with generations incapable of focussing for more than 5 minutes! Also, if they do persist in listening to music all the time, I wish they would get better headphones – not only are the Apple ones rubbish sound quality, but they leak sound which the rest of us have to endure! Woe is me…